My recent use of Inbound.org highlighted why Tech Startups are lacking the type of professional management needed to succeed.
Everyday we sit down in front of our keyboards ready to feast on the virtual information buffet on the internet. Our mind salivates as we open up a browser and prepare ourselves for all you can eat information. But like everyone else who slaps down their hard-earned money, you want to get the most out of your meal. How can you do that when it comes to the internet?
There is definitely a good and bad strategy when it comes to consuming the unlimited information that the internet has to offer. Yes, for those who are serious about getting the most out of all you can eat, you will need a strategy. There are two main problems with the internet buffet: too many choices, and you have a limited amount of time before you are full.
First problem – Too many choices. It doesn’t matter what your topic, there are more sites than you have time to read. Your eyes glaze over as you imagine what you consume first. There are many choices but not all of them are good. There is some information that is the best you have ever had, and some you want to spit out the minute you taste it. With so many choices, you have to learn the tricks of the trade if you are going to feast on the best.
Trick #1 – How full is the pan? If a dish is great, then the pan is almost empty. You can see this with information by looking at the share numbers. When it says it has been tweeted 112 times that is a good thing it means the pan is half empty. Sometimes there are great new posts that haven’t been shared yet, but in general each share is like a vote. The people willing to share it means they tried it and wanted more. Learn to read the numbers and see the signs of good information.
Second problem - You get full. As mom used to say, “Save room for desert.” If you fill up on mediocre information you won’t have time for tastier information. You can only have so much on your plate so learn to be an information snob and discern the difference in quality. The plates at a buffet are never big enough and you simply can’t have enough time to read everything. Get picky, here is how.
Trick #2 – Look for the biggest guy in the room, what is he eating? Follow people who have been around for a while and who are well-known in the field you are interested in and see what they are reading. Trust and recommendations are a huge currency on the internet and there is a reason. These people have tasted many dishes and they know more than you. Look at what they have on their plate and try some.
You don’t have the time to try a bite of everything. Even if you try you will get full. Learn to start with the most popular dishes and then find the best consumers of information and eat what they are eating. If you do this you will be an all you can eat pro and get your money’s worth for the time you invest online. Hey, they may have to ask you to leave…
Smarter Strategies for an Information Age
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OK so we all write content and spend our time sharing information with others. With so much information available we all know what it is like to find a really good article. Many people come and read the article that took the blog author time and expertise to write and then leave without so much as a comment.
Blogging is about sharing, it is about giving the best you have to help others
We have been taught to be selfish in society and always think of WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). The days of saying thank you are gone and few and far between are those considerate people who believe they should repay those who they have benefited from.
So how exactly do you repay a blogger? You give them a hug. I am not talking about driving to their hometown and stalking them until the moment is right…. I am talking about returning something of value to them.
Blog Author Hugging 101:
Definition: Squeeze (someone) tightly in one’s arms, typically to express affection.
Hugging: See all those little buttons around the post: Like, Thumbs up, Stumble, Digg, Tweet, +1, etc.. That is how you thank the blogger for their effort. It is something only you can do for the blogger and it is a great way to tell them thanks. Press everything, if you don’t have an account, it only takes a second to make one so you can promote that post and any others after that.
Comment: Yes, comment. More than anything people want to know that the info they spent time writing has impacted someone or at least sparked a thought good or bad. Try and say more than nice post which not only doesn’t add value by itself, but may indicate you skimmed it and didn’t really read it. Just saying nice post is like saying “Ehh” after they present their ideas.
Be the first to comment whenever possible. If a post has no comments other people are likely to not comment either. The first comments get the party started and help everyone go beyond the surface of the blog post. Comment often and ask questions, the comment section is a party.
Sharing is Caring: Tweet it, share it to your network and followers. This gives the post legs and helps it reach more people we all have a little network we can share to and a great way to make a blogger feel appreciated is to hit the share buttons. A few seconds shows you are a team player and they are likely to do the same for you.
Go Beyond: Go to another post and do the same thing. If you really want to say I appreciate what you are doing, then go hug another one of their posts. Hug it out…. It is hard not to hug back. This is the essence of networking success. Social media is about relationships, the technology is supposed to help us manage them, it won’t create them by itself.
This is just good citizenship, silent eyes on posts that don’t interact are many times unseen by the author and makes it hard to hear the thank you. There are some very good Blog Huggers out there and it takes one to know one. Now you can start to notice when people are hugging you and you you can hug them back. Be a responsible reader and give back. After all we all need a good hug now and then…
Although some individuals are born leaders, most are made. Becoming a chief executive typically takes years of hard work. Extensive experience in the company’s field is desirable and some companies tend to prefer those with degrees from upper-tier schools. Finally, those that have worked their way up from a low level within the organization may have an advantage, as they arguably know the company better than any outsider ever could.
via Becoming A CEO.
The elusive CEO… People wonder how to become one. Well many start-ups bring forth CEOs because someone had to take the role. Many learn from experience that just because you are an idea guy, or a programmer, doesn’t mean you know how to manage, lead, and strategize for a company.
Having a great product is one thing, but keeping your company alive and growing in a competitive environment requires more. If you want to be a CEO you need a broad set of skills: Finance, Management, Marketing, Creativity, and Strategy.
All Start-ups should have this same broad set of skills because even if you are not fit to be CEO, you need to know what your CEO is doing and where it will take your company. Business is not kind on ignorance..
“Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) — Kaenon Polarized’s unique premium shades are worn by pro athletes and celebrities, but mass-market audiences have remained elusive. Can retail guru Jay Margolis help brothers Darren and Steve Rosenberg grow “the best sunglasses you’ve never heard of” into a major player in the market? Tuesdays at 9PM ET/PT. Fridays at 9:30PM ET/PT. (Source: Bloomberg)”
I love this show and the video is on the link above. On this show I think the owners Darren and Steve really missed the opportunity here. They were so caught up in the fact that their glasses were better than the competition that they felt they didn’t need any gimmicks to try and sell them.
They thought product quality was enough to sell their glasses. Big mistake. I don’t care how good your product is, it doesn’t sell itself. Your competition can outsell a superior product with superior branding and marketing. If you have a superior product that is actually less important than if you have a better strategy to brand it and get your product into more buyer’s hands. Quality doesn’t speak for itself if it isn’t in the hands of the end user.
These guys came to a Mentor to get help and because they had their own ideas on how they should brand their product they didn’t really listen to the Mentor. They made a slightly different case for their glasses and patted each other on the back while making no brand message at all. This is an example of when an engineer makes a product and then fails to hire a marketing expert to sell it. These guys may make a great product but they should fire themselves from the branding side of their business and I bet it would grow…
Lesson: Know your strengths, and hire your weaknesses.. If I was their mentor I would have told them straight up that they needed to hire a marketing and brand strategist and stick to making good sunglasses. They are the reason their brand is not growing fast enough.
Moreover, content has become the new software, what with zero marginal production and distribution costs. When you consider especially that cheap hardware and open source software has rendered technology anything but defensive, you wonder if the VC herd will perk up and follow Mark’s lead.
I think there is a glaring factor missing in this train of thought. Video is like software in comparison of the value being in the hardware, then hardware becoming less important and the software that could go on any hardware was the key.
The problem with thinking video is the new software is that unlike software which models the hit shows, video in general is not as rare as software. People are willing to watch a ton of videos of all quality and from any source. Software had a function and depending on the quality there was a huge difference in the result. Seeing a cat play piano poorly is as good as watching a professional show to some. Because of this, content in the video world is not as marketable as software. That being said, I can think of many innovations that can create new opportunities in the world of video but it has to be able to operate in a new way with the current environment.
Video is going to get better and it is just another form of information waiting to be capitalized on…